Water Charity Supports HYT Training in Mabira

Posted on February 14th, 2018

Mabira Forest has been making headlines this week in Uganda, as logging continues to eat away at the reserve’s natural riches. With much of Uganda’s population still reliant on firewood for cooking, building and employment, there is a clear need to decouple development from deforestation.


Mabira Firewood

Truckloads of timber are a regular sight here in Najjembe, Mabira.


Industrial agriculture has also polluted the forest’s waterways, affecting the wildlife and communities that depend on them. HYT has partnered with Water Charity to increase the self-reliance of local people, providing them with sustainable alternatives to woodcutting, and access to life-giving water.


Children of the Mabira Communit

Najjembe’s men, women and children make a living as blue-aproned street vendors, who rely on water and firewood to grow and cook the food they sell.


The project, which builds on HYT’s previous efforts with Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organisation (MAFICO), centres around 6 schools. Here at Muteesa Secondary, young Ugandans from the local community are learning to build water tanks out of the interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB). The beauty of this technology is its simplicity; the manual press, soil, sand and a dash of cement are all you need to make durable, uniform bricks.


Muteesa Water Tank Team, Mabira

The six new trainees will use their initial stipends to pay for safety wear, which they keep and take on to future jobs.


HYT has selected 6 trainees, most of whom did not finish school due to financial / family constraints, to join the programme. They have already learned how to select and excavate the right kind of soil, and will soon start turning it into usable blocks, without burning firewood!


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira

The original Mabira tank team has already completed 3 of its 6 scheduled tanks!


It won’t take them long to catch up with Mabira’s first team of trainees, who have been learning to build since October. They can now construct a water tank in less than a month, with each structure consolidating their practical and theoretical skills.


Najjembe Water Tank Building Team

These masons have produced 600 blocks here at Najjembe Primary.


By funding the HYT training project here in Mabira, Water Charity is committing to more than just the provision of clean water. Alongside vocational skills, trainees are taught the importance of conserving their natural surroundings, securing futures for themselves and the environment.


Najjembe Water Tank Team, Mabira Forest

The trainees take a break to admire the forest they are protecting.


Together, the two organisations are creating a generation of employable, environmentally-aware young Ugandans, here in the heart of Mabira Forest.


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Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at hytuganda.com

Keeping up with Kadungulu – in Jinja!

Posted on January 31st, 2018

It’s been over a year since HYT started work in Kadungulu, training 10 youths in interlocking stabilised soil block (ISSB) technology. The project may have finished, but the graduates of the training programme have only just begun their careers as eco-friendly masons.


Eric and the Kadungulu Team

Left to right: Kadungulu Trainees Sam and Max, Trainer Eric Mposa. 


Charles, Max and Sam have made the 200 km trip to Jinja to take part in building the new resource centre for J.E.T. at St. Patrick Primary School. They’ve joined a team led by their old friend and trainer Eric Mposa.


Sam and the Billingtons

Sam catches up with Andrew and Penney Billington in Jinja.


Eric is not the only familiar face here in Jinja, however. Andrew and Penney Billington, founders of Billington Vocational Training Centre where the graduates were trained, made their own 6,000 km journey to the site in November. The Billlington’s funded the programme in Kadungulu, and were pleased to see the team using their new skills.


Max Practises Decorating in Jinja

Max inspects the rows of ISSB on the resource centre exterior.


The Jinja team is impressed by how quickly Charles and his friends are picking up English and Luganda – both foreign languages for them! At HYT, lessons continue far beyond graduation, and projects provide opportunities for masons to learn, as well as earn. The Kadungulu cohort has been practicing ceiling construction at St. Patrick, as their skills begin to go through the roof!


Max paints the resource centre

The team practices all sort of skills from block-making to plastering and painting.


Max has also used the project to hone his decorating skills, shaping the plaster carefully around the exposed brickwork. This attention to detail helps to publicise the technology, ensuring beautiful structures with visible blocks!


Children at St. Patrick

The children at St. Patrick can’t wait for their new resource centre to open!


Of course, the children of St. Patrick are the most important beneficiaries of the project. When the resource centre opens next month, they will have access to their very own library and computer services.


St. Patrick Resource Centre, Jinja

The resource centre will open in February, changing the lives of over 200 schoolchildren.


Charles, Sam and Alex are proud to take part in a project with such a positive impact. As HYT masons, they will go on to transform the lives or pupils across Uganda, building futures with their own two hands.


Keep up-to-date with HYT’s work by following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.









Winners of the Ashden International Award for Sustainable Buildings 2017.

Watch our exciting video, or check out our work at hytuganda.com